Summer Tips to Beat the Heat
In Arizona, spring and summer all blend together for me – it’s just plain hot and I will be the first to admit that I do go through some sort of mild depression when the hot weather returns. I call it summer fatigue. For many of my patients, it often comes with a sense of tiredness and loss of appetite, but it’s also common to see a lot of allergies, respiratory complaints and even an increase in the common cold. A big component of summer fatigue is due to the sudden change in temperatures and the opposing, almost freezer like air conditioning temperatures at work and in retail stores. Although the frigid temperatures may be a welcoming relief from the outside heat, those extreme temperature swings can take a toll on your body, making you more susceptible to fatigue and sickness and less tolerant to the heat in general.
While summer fatigue may be a normal response to increasing temperatures, there are things we can do to help acclimate and adjust so we can enjoy the playful, carefree days that summer time also represents. Here is a brief list of things we can do to better deal with “summer fatigue”:
- Improve energy levels – If you find that you are always shivering at work, make sure you bundle up to help your body maintain it’s desired 98.6 temperature. Keep an extra sweater or jacket at work. Drinking hot tea during summer may sound odd, but chances are it’s quite cold indoors so a cup of hot green tea will support your energy and your body temp with an added dose of antioxidants. Take your B vitamins. Eat lighter meals including foods that are hydrating like celery, cucumber, and bell peppers. Get your daily dose of movement – even if all you have time for is a set of jumping jacks in your office!
- Support immune function to prevent sickness – It seems this is always an ongoing theme, but the better we take care of ourselves the healthier we are. Always start with an unprocessed, whole foods diet, strive for adequate sleep and engage in healthy activities that help relieve stress such as speaking positive affirmations. For further support of immune function, be sure to take a good quality multi and an antioxidant formula. I also like to use Astragalus to support a healthy immune system. IV therapies such as the traditional Myer’s formula are an excellent addition to immune support. Since we stay indoors a lot during the summer, checking Vitamin D levels and ensuring they are well supported, is crucial for a healthy immune response.
- Air conditioning can cause mucous membrane irritation leaving your airways irritated and also sucking the moisture from your skin. Using a whole house humidifier can help and make sure that you use a clean, good quality moisturizer. Take a look at www.ewg.org for information on clean, non-toxic body lotions. Fish oil is beneficial for skin health too. Get your thyroid levels tested if your skin seems excessively dry and you are experiencing other signs of thyroid insufficiency such as fatigue, inability to lose weight and constipation.
- Reduce allergies and respiratory symptoms by improving indoor air quality – Start with high quality HEPA filters for your home– it’s worth the extra money. You’ll also want to keep the dust registers and vents clean, as this will reduce circulating allergens and dust particles throughout the house. Keep the outside area around your AC unit free of dust and debris to help improve air quality circulating through your AC unit. Consider having your AC unit tuned up and your ducts professionally cleaned, especially if you suffer from allergies. The same goes for your car – now would be a good time to change the cabin filter in your vehicle. Avoid those scented car fresheners, which are toxic alone, but far more toxic when compounded by the heat. Consider an essential oil instead – there are many to choose from. Ylang ylang and citrus scents can lift the spirits – always important when commuting!
- Be smart in the heat – hydration is important and our needs go up with summer temperatures and increased perspiration. Be sure to take a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water per day – again drinking more when you are sweating more. Consider an electrolyte supplement to your water, especially if exercising outdoors.
- Enjoy yourself and take some needed vacations – spring and summer seasons offer an opportunity for travel and trying new things. Plan a weekend getaway – cooler weather is only a couple hours north and offers plenty of great hiking.
As with anything, it’s what you choose to make of it, so make the best of the season. We are here to optimize your health along the way!
Witten by Dr. Andrea Minesaki. Dr. Minesaki specializes in optimizing health and treating men, women and children with acute or chronic health conditions. She offers patient focused care, utilizing the tools that are best suited to support her patient’s individual needs or goals.Dr. Minesaki is offering acute visits and wellness care for our pediatric patients. Please call the office at 480-970-0077 to schedule a visit.